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Old 02-19-2014, 11:05 AM
 
Location: Katonah
83 posts, read 141,000 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dma1250 View Post
And, of course, happiest in Brooklyn, which is exactly what he seems to be looking for.
Except for the fact that he said he isn't looking in Brooklyn for multiple reasons.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:22 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hgeb View Post
Going by Forest comments about needing to stretch his budget and needing private school, those are reasons I wouldn't suggest Brooklyn.
I agree it's about the OP, and that's why I wouldn't suggest it. He even made the comment that he is aware of the cost in Brooklyn and wants to stay under $2m, "if not well under that number".
And he is accustomed to more space, which you won't be getting in Brooklyn. And he doesn't want to send his kids to private school.
A lot of people who come from outside NYC will occasionally enterain conflicting priorities. In the OP's case these are: (a) Walkable to restaurants/bars, (b) good schools, (c) within a certain $$. We know he can't have all of these so at this point all we can do is make assumptions on which items are more important.

I recommended Brooklyn based on the assumption that (a) is the most important given his background living in big cities. You can manage (b) and (c) in Brooklyn one way or another. In the spring there will likely be rowhouses for $2M or under in BedStuy/Prospect Park and there are private schools that don't cost up to $30K.

If (a) is not important then Brooklyn is definitely off the table. He can consider one of the Rivertowns or Larchmont but have to lower his expectations for (a).
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:25 AM
 
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Thanks all.

We'll check out Park Slope to see if Brooklyn could work for us. Is there a link or somewhere I can find out how the school process works, especially for kindergarten age? I see bits and pieces on boards like this or news articles but I can't seem to find how the whole process works in detail. We're not against private schools completely, but it would be nice to have the option, especially in the younger years, to have decent elementary schools and not have to blow $40k/yr/kid right away. We can expand our budget if we really like a place so who knows.

We're also going to keep checking out places like Tarrytown and Larchmont (which was recommended from another friend who's moving out of Manhattan who are in a similar situation as we are with kids the same age). Maybe we'll head up to check out some towns if it doesn't snow again this weekend... I'll review the above posts because I may have missed it, but does anyone have personal experience with Tarrytown or Larchmont? Just curious. It seems like if you live in certain areas of Tarrytown it's a walkable place but we know that we're going to be using cars because it's not a city.

I'll check out posts on Jersey, but other than the trains going into Penn Station and then having to jump on a subway if your offices isn't on that side of town, is the Jersey transit system that much worse? From what I can see simply by checking out the train schedules, the Metro North runs MUCH more frequently with many more express trains and later into the night, and those can be a big factors but does taking the subway to and from Penn add that much more to the commute?

This is more of a general question: why are property taxes so horribly high in both Jersey and Westchester Co? It's tougher to find property taxes on the real estate sites for NY properties, but for example I was looking at a house online in Montclair and it's about $1m, so a mortgage after 20% down would be about $4500/mo but the taxes are over $2500/mo. Having lived in multiple parts of the country, that's just outrageously high. Heck, Florida property taxes are pretty high but that's because there's no state income tax.

@ruby: we don't want a nightlife that involved dancing until 4 am, but after having lived primarily in cities, it's nice when my wife and I can go out to dinner (or she/I can meet up with friends) and we both can have that third drink without having to worry about driving. We've been spoiled living in the cities. Of course we're not going out and getting bombed because as any parent of young children will say, hangover's are bad enough but when two little kids wake up at 6 am and need 100% attention, a hangover illustrates what the 7th rung of hell feels like.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:34 AM
 
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If you move to Tarrytown, you might have to look at private schools as well and Hackley and Masters are very expensive private schools.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:37 AM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
1,316 posts, read 4,571,033 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hgeb View Post
Going by Forest comments about needing to stretch his budget and needing private school, those are reasons I wouldn't suggest Brooklyn.
I agree it's about the OP, and that's why I wouldn't suggest it. He even made the comment that he is aware of the cost in Brooklyn and wants to stay under $2m, "if not well under that number".
And he is accustomed to more space, which you won't be getting in Brooklyn. And he doesn't want to send his kids to private school.
He won't need to send his kids to private school or to spend $2M. I had suggested that he rent in a hood with good elementary schools (like Carroll Gardens or Park Slope) until the kids are in middle school, at which point residency doesn't play into school choice and he can move to a cheaper area. In Bed Stuy, Crown Heights, PLG, Ditmas, and other areas the OP can get a 3,000 to 4,000 square foot house for well under $2M. Assuming his resources keep up with market.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:41 AM
 
Location: Katonah
83 posts, read 141,000 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sqbqsq View Post
I'll review the above posts because I may have missed it, but does anyone have personal experience with Tarrytown or Larchmont? Just curious. It seems like if you live in certain areas of Tarrytown it's a walkable place but we know that we're going to be using cars because it's not a city.

I'll check out posts on Jersey, but other than the trains going into Penn Station and then having to jump on a subway if your offices isn't on that side of town, is the Jersey transit system that much worse? From what I can see simply by checking out the train schedules, the Metro North runs MUCH more frequently with many more express trains and later into the night, and those can be a big factors but does taking the subway to and from Penn add that much more to the commute?

Tarrytown, like most or all towns, will have a relatively small "walkable" area. The only reason Brooklyn becomes more accessible is because of the subways, but that brings us back to an older post about whether or not that is technically "walkable".
My only real knowledge of Tarrytown is that to get to the train, there is a severe hill. In a winter like we have had this year, you should bring your toboggan to get down and your snowshoes to make it back up. But others will have more personal experience.
NJ Transit is pretty bad. I took it for a short time while we were house shopping and it was tough. Trains were overcrowded, always having delays and waiting for Amtrak to pass, and then you get to Penn and it is a zoo morning and night. I walk to Grand Central from my office on 50th/6th and it is so much easier. I know exactly how long it will take me and I don't have to worry if the 1 train is running or slow etc. And then at night when you get off at Penn, people are literally sprinting down the packed hallways to their trains. It's hilarious actually.
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Old 02-19-2014, 11:59 AM
 
6,993 posts, read 9,559,865 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dma1250 View Post
at which point residency doesn't play into school choice and he can move to a cheaper area.
He won't get to pick and choose whatever middle and high school he wants either. Competition to get into the better public middle and high schools in NYC is fierce and slots are limited. More likely than not, private schools will come into the equation someday but that's still a few years away and by then his circumstances may have changed or maybe kids are fortunate to win a slot in the better public schools.

Quote:
Originally Posted by hgeb View Post
The only reason Brooklyn becomes more accessible is because of the subways, but that brings us back to an older post about whether or not that is technically "walkable".
Most of Brooklyn is not walkable but the nicer (and expensive) parts are. Nobody is proposing Brighton Beach or Flatlands anyway. Also Brooklyn would be a stronger option if walkability to K-12 schools was not a requirement. Kids may need to commute to either private or public schools by the time they hit MS.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:09 PM
 
2,328 posts, read 5,069,728 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dma1250 View Post
I didn't realize that Larchmont was a hotbed of diversity or that it had an urban vibe, both of which the OP requested. It's always hard to guess from one post, but I would imagine that the OP would be much happier in Tarrytown, which has both diversity and a funky vibe. And, of course, happiest in Brooklyn, which is exactly what he seems to be looking for.
You can't always get what you want, right? If you want to pay tons of money for a smaller space in Park Slope, where it is difficult to park, and where you have to stand on a subway packed like a sardine for 45 minutes to get to 50th and 5th, then the OP should take your advise.

Tarrytown has an urban vibe? Really? You mean that half block on Main Street and that short stretch on Broadway. Yeah, that's really urban. I like Tarrytown, but to say it has an "urban vibe" is a bit of a stretch.

If you want diversity in Larchmont, get a house that is zoned for Central School. Not a lot of racial diversity, but a ton of economic diversity. And for that urban vibe, you're a 25-minute drive to Manhattan, where you can bring your kids on the weekend. And the Mamaroneck School District, which includes Larchmont, is very diverse.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:15 PM
 
2,328 posts, read 5,069,728 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by dma1250 View Post
He won't need to send his kids to private school or to spend $2M. I had suggested that he rent in a hood with good elementary schools (like Carroll Gardens or Park Slope) until the kids are in middle school, at which point residency doesn't play into school choice and he can move to a cheaper area. In Bed Stuy, Crown Heights, PLG, Ditmas, and other areas the OP can get a 3,000 to 4,000 square foot house for well under $2M. Assuming his resources keep up with market.
The more I think about it, the more I think that anyone working at 50th and 5th, who would select any of these Brooklyn neighborhoods as a place of residence, would be crazy, unless living in a diverse neighborhood is your #1 priority. And by the way, Park Slope and Carroll Gardens are among the LEAST DIVERSE neighborhoods in New York City.
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Old 02-19-2014, 12:17 PM
 
Location: Yorktown Heights NY
1,316 posts, read 4,571,033 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Forest_Hills_Daddy View Post
He won't get to pick and choose whatever middle and high school he wants either. Competition to get into the better public middle and high schools in NYC is fierce and slots are limited. More likely than not, private schools will come into the equation someday but that's still a few years away and by then his circumstances may have changed or maybe kids are fortunate to win a slot in the better public schools.
Everyone I know in Brooklyn got their middle schoolers and high schoolers into one of their top three choices.
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